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English: How to write your own poetry

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English: How to write your own poetry

Step one: make a list of words that rhyme with “heartbroken” (spoken… token… you gotta be jokin’…).

Writing poetry is a really good way to express yourself in a form that lives somewhere between a story and a song, and can either have really formal rules or none at all.. And if you want to become a star at it, here are some tips that we totally stole from people who know how to spin couplets.

Write, write, rewrite and write

The best way to get good at anything is to keep practising. Your first attempts at poetry probably won’t come out how you’d like them to, but as you keep writing you’ll start to figure out how to say all the things you want to. So write a lot. Leave your work alone for a while, then come back to it. Having that gap of time will help you spot things that aren’t working (or are working really well). Then you do some more writing.

Read your work out loud and think of the performance side

Poetry can be enjoyed on the page, but like plays, it is often best enjoyed as a performance. Read your work out loud – even if it’s in the privacy of your bedroom – and see how it sounds. If you’re extra brave, record yourself reading it and make notes on what falls flat and what makes you nod in smug self-satisfaction.

Play with the form and space

Speaking of the page, make use of it. Use the space you’re given, muck around with different line breaks and try things that definitely won’t work, but might be interesting anyway. Write with a pen as well as with a keyboard, and pay attention to the way that makes you think differently.

Experiment and go with your gut

There’s a cliche about poetry being all angsty and emo, but you can have a lot of fun with it. Forget about trying to sound clever or profound – be playful and follow your instinct when writing those verses. The subject matter doesn’t have to be serious either – there’s room in this world for an epic poem about chicken’n’corn rolls.

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